Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mallernee fires five-inning no-hitter to lead Blue Devils to win

Jordan Mallernee threw a five-inning no-hitter to lead Independence to a 13-1 season-opening win over visiting Brooklyn on Monday.

Mallernee also knocked in the first run in the bottom of the first inning.

“Jordan was lights out both offensively and especially on the mound,” Independence coach Jim Crooks said. “He spots his fastball so well. He can put it anywhere he wants on the plane of the plate and that’s going to be critical to his success. He went right at hitters. That was a textbook way to go about the first outing of the year.”

Mallernee, who signed with Hiram College last week, was sharp throughout his five innings.

He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 of 19 batters faced and struck out 13 in five innings of work and walked just two Brooklyn hitters.

The senior struck out two of the first three Brooklyn hitters he faced in the top of the first and then Connor Blum and Brad Watroba drew back-to-back walks in the bottom half of the winning. Mallernee drove the first pitch he saw into center field for a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Devils would add six more runs in the inning to pull away from the Hurricanes.

Kevin Mooney finished the game 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and four runs batted in. Jamie McMahon was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Blum, David Dorko, Nick Rossi and Nathan Steffas also had hits for the Blue Devils.

Rossi’s was a triple.

“We were aggressive at the plate and on the bases,” Crooks said. “We came hungry and ready to hit the ball. I was proud of how aggressive we were at the plate.”

Independence travels to Lutheran West on Tuesday.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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